She draws the hands she doesn't like across the skin that makes her nervous to expose.
And her eyes are wary
and weary for her age.
Their pale blue hides behind short lashes and glass lenses as she apologises yet again for something she never did,
And tries to make her curvaceous frame seem frumpy and unappealing
As a form of armour.
As if she could be.
She sits mouselike in her unsafe corner with her fingers clasped tightly together
To stop them pulling anxiously at the hair she shaved off.
Her breathing shallow,
Hackles flattened in the presence of danger lest she attract its attention.
Oh-so-carefully pretending not to exist until the clicking of the lock, the crunching of gravel, the distant fade of the engine finally edges into silence and she stirs.
Bathes and eats,
Does what she can to soothe her final fraying nerve,
Before opening her journal and calling to her other, younger demons,
"It's safe to come out now,"
And like a swarm of angry bees they flood around her.
With pen and ink and tools hard won she catches them and pins them to the page once more,
Keeping them secret and keeping them safe,
Guarding them stoically from discovery until once more she is alone and can let them stretch their wings.
Yes, she is delicate.
But not delicate, like a butterfly.
Delicate, like a bomb.
© mjc 19 February 2021
return to home